Impact of self-esteem and peer conformity in the initiation of coitus in early adolescence
The study investigated the impact of self-esteem and peer conformity in the initiation of coitus in early adolescence among secondary school students. The sample included 173 boys and 141 girls aged 13-16 years of whom 58.9 of the participants reported that they had initiated sexual intercourse. Data was obtained using Rosenberg Self-esteem scale, Conformity Subscale of the Peer pressure Inventory, and 3-items measuring coital status developed by the researchers. Results of a 2x2 Chi-square indicated that self-esteem was not significantly associated with initiation of coitus, X2 = 3.01, p> .05 whereas peer conformity predicted imitation of coitus in early adolescence, X2 = 155.46, P<.001. Early initiation of coitus was also related to other factors like age and preferred sex. The researchers concluded that self-esteem was not related to initiation of coitus, whereas adolescents who largely conform to peer norms are more likely to initiate sex at a younger age than those who do not conform to peer norms.